BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — In the October issue’s cover story, “Building your business beyond curb appeal,” Editorial Director Rich DiPaolo discusses how sensory features can make or break customers’ experiences at a carwash.

One crucial sensory element for any carwash is cleanliness. In addition to shiny cars, customers also want to see a spotless, clean facility. “Cleanliness is almost everything in the carwash industry,” explains DiPaolo in the article. “Today’s customers expect spacious, clean and well-illuminated areas for various reasons, ranging from safety concerns to peace of mind in their purchases.”

Since customers equate cleanliness to quality, regular litter removal on the lot and in the tunnel/bay areas of a site is critical. Matt Hord, training consultant for Brink Results LLC, notes in the article that maintaining a tunnel by ensuring the walls and equipment are clean will not only enhance the appearance but also the fragrance, feel and functionality of the wash.

He adds in the article, “If there are windows, it is particularly important to keep them clean even though it is a challenge to do so.”

Furthermore, mold, mildew and bacteria often develop because carwashes rely on water and often have dark, hard-to-reach areas, such as trenches and high ceilings. While regular cleaning and a proper trash removal program are mandatory best practices, a complete, thorough cleaning of the location specifically targeting the hard-to-reach and often neglected areas is recommended at least twice a year and possibly once a quarter for busy locations.

Customers will associate the cleanliness of a carwash to its attention to detail, which they expect to see shine through with customer service and wash results.

“Improving your carwash’s sensory experience first starts with doing your due diligence,” asserts DiPaolo in the article. “Next time you drive to your wash, notice the surroundings from the street and as you enter the property. What stood out and what didn’t? Ask your employees to do the same, and then provide feedback. Entice your loyal customers to do the same for a discounted or free wash.”

Read the entire article for more helpful advice and information on appealing to customers’ senses here.